Finishing high school is one of the most exciting times for us. We get to have all the freedom in the world, go out to parties and what not, hang out with friends, watch new movies, go travelling and etc.

But when college or university (or any type of tertiary education) is looming over us, a number of worries come to mind; discovering what you would like to major in, choosing whether to study or take a gap period, going overseas to study, etc. It’s a big transition that requires a bigger you.

Of course, as a student, one of the biggest worries for me was the prospect of seeking a job that I could work in whilst studying at uni. It would be my source of income and the first steps to living independently and transitioning into the bigger world.

So, as a third year student studying part-time and working at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, I’ve gathered a few tips that may be able to help you prepare for your future years ahead.

1. It all starts with you

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re already ahead of the game. Question yourself: Why do you want to get better? Do you want to be a better person than yesterday? Why so? Nail these fundamental questions down and stick to them!

2. Start asking around for opportunities to work and say ‘Yes’ to volunteering opportunities

Think of seeking jobs as a challenge that you will eventually achieve. Start by talking to family, close friends and family friends that have successful jobs and branch out to them. Ask them if there are any opportunities (like volunteering) available. Any form of experience is very valuable as you are beginning to build a strong and known profile.

3. Brush up on the dreaded resumes and cover letters…please

Yes… it may be annoying and time consuming. I sometimes hate doing it as well. But we’ve got to keep in mind that we want to be on top of these things when applying for jobs. Especially when we want to stand out from the rest.

If you would like useful tips on this, check out this link here for a handy guide as to how you can improve your resume and cover letter:

4. Be mindful of the time of year… you could use this to your advantage

Be mindful of when you are looking for a job. As a general tip, the months leading up to Christmas tend to have a lot of companies looking for Christmas staff such as stores like Myer, David Jones, H&M, Uniqlo, and even local cafe’s around your area. There are a HUGE number of opportunities to find work during these periods!

5. Take a government subsidised qualification during your break

A cool way to get ahead and stand out…. for free! The government offers free subsidised courses such the Responsible Services of Gambling and Responsible Services of Alcohol certificate at select training venues. You can take courses ranging from 1 day to 4 weeks entirely for free as long as you meet the requirements listed. This is really an exciting opportunity to meet new friends, connect with new people, and stand out when applying for hospitality and retail jobs!

Of course, nearly all students are unsure of what to study after high school. And it’s okay to feel unsure – you’re not expected to decide your future then and there. But following these tips will certainly get you ahead and a step closer to finding a better you!

What are some of the lessons you’ve learnt when you first started off your career? Comment in the box below!

Harrison is currently studying at the University of Melbourne pursuing a degree in Finance and Management. He has worked in several industries, including Hospitality, Finance, Information Services and Retail. He aspires to empower all job seekers and pass on the knowledge he has learnt. He is also the founder of Industry Bootcamp.

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